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tv   Capital News Today  CSPAN  September 6, 2012 11:00pm-2:00am EDT

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replacing, and everything washington must replace need. he comes down to the station in march, 1864, mr. bo went to whether lake in vermont. someday i'll be here when it's green i know, but seriously grant interviews me. and it's very paying generals. the first thing he does is a general agreement, i'm paraphrasing, i know you probably want to replace your commander. winning the war is more important than anyone's vanity. i will not argue against you. i'll support you in every way i can and i'm ready to turn over command. at that point grant decides that's the man he once to command the army of the potomac. he's just been dealing with mclaren and even george thomas, a great soldier, these huge egos. he saw deprecating, so
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publicizing god. and they have not a perfect relationship, but there really a good team because grant lois just attack head-on throw which results in casualties with the army of virginia. for me it is a little more calculating. but you can argue back and forth and works out terrible mistakes at pearl harbor. but we always see there's antithetical. historians want to make much of the delay between them. but there's a problem, why does it grant ever fire the guy? the only grant estimated its holder to the surrender at appomattox to get their in the actual surrender ceremony, but he's quite a ways away. so we're wrapping up. it is a gentleman, thank you
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very much. [applause] >> your government and mind can be as powerful as the governments wanted to be. and sometimes we talk about the u.n. as it, as they distance ourselves. by doing that, they're responsible for action or inaction, an alibi secretary general. but one of my predecessors used to say that we often refer to the general as shot in doesn't stand for secretary-general. it stands for a scapegoat. so there is a scapegoat action. here's a scapegoat function of the human.
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but member states and the media have to be very careful not to to downpours so much that we won't even be useful as an alibi. >> next, jonathan sarna recounts general ulysses s. grant order in the civil war to expel the jewish population from the territory under his command. the order quickly rescinded by president abraham lincoln would travel grant in the years following the war and into his 1868 presidential campaign. this is a little under an hour. >> well, thank you for that remarkable introduction.
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i have to say that the subject of my lecture is an historic event, but actually once put my own academic career in jeopardy. in 1982 i was a young faculty member at the hebrew union college institute of religion in cincinnati and i was invited to deliver a talk before the two shins board of overseers. it's a new faculty member and i was determined to prove myself. and since 1982 coincided with a 120th anniversary of of ulysses s. grant's general orders number weapon, expelling will choose as a class from his
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words, i decided to take that infamous 1862 border as mesa check. grants order was the most notorious official at that anti-semitism in american history. it is the overtime that jews as a class have been expelled from anywhere in the united states. and around 1982, new information concerning the order had he come available from the association that published ulysses s. grant's papers. and so i began to prepare my remarks i put on the new suit and my talk seemed to be going well until i approached the subject of smuggling.
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ulysses s. grant was completely concerned about the north and the south. and since some of the smugglers that these troops caught were jews, he concluded that all jews or smugglers. that pointed out that we now know that smuggling was rampant was by no means a jewish monopoly. the continued rants own father, jesse grant was engaged in a clandestine scheme to move southern cotton northway. his partner was a jewish clothing manufacture and send them back.
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no sterner with those words out of my mouth and began to shift uneasily in the room and the pioneering of the american jewish historian buried his face in his hands. it was out of this world. i said something went terribly wrong. so the archives i didn't know what the problem was. so fearing for the security of my position, i hobbled to the end of the lecture and invited an old man in the front row seating about where you are rose to his feet. ♪ my name is matt ♪ he memorably began and looking me straight in the eye, he announced that was my great
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grandfather talking about. and you continued after a long and rather dramatic pause. it's approved. at that point the room relaxed and dr. marcos looks up and everybody smiles in the academic career was saved. it took me about 30 years to get over that experience, is the general grant expelled the jews had returned to those notes concerning general orders number 11 and its aftermath in the story i hope remains full of interest. now, general grants order number
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11, dated december the 17th, 1862 read as follows. the jews as a class, violating every regulation of trade established by the treasury department and in department orders are hereby expelled from the department within 24 hours from the receipt of this order. we might have good in the face of an order late in the face of an order late in the face of an order late would have been easy to from grant's territory, a huge area stretching from northern mississippi to cairo, illinois and from the mississippi river to the tennessee river. memphis alone at that time was one of the largest communities in the south. but surprisingly, very few jews
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were actually expelled. some from the area around college springs, mississippi and as we shall see from paducah, kentucky. most jews notwithstanding the order remained on a fat kid for a fun time. wyatt collects the answer lies buried in the 130 massive volumes known as the official record of the war of the rebellion at which they produce that official record. there we learned that lesson 722 hours after issuing general orders number 11, grant sources at poly springs were surprised
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by 3500 confederate raiders led by major general earl van dorn. grant himself was far from the scene when the raid happened in the commanding officer, a man named robert c. murphy was according to the official record out at some entertainment, which made him a trifle over bold. that is a nice way of saying that he was stone drunk. the results prove devastating. holly springs surrendered, a million rations burned. 2000 troops were captured and nearly simultaneous raids by general nathan bedford but tour at 60 of railroad track as well as telegraph lines and that is
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the key to the mystery, communications between grants headquarter and the military command would disrupt it for weeks by the surprise attacks. and as a result, news of grants order expelling jews spreads slowly and did not reach headquarters in a timely fashion, sparing many jews who might otherwise have been banished. general orders number 11 finally reach the duke of kentucky, which had been occupied much earlier page grant force 11 days after the order was issued. about 30 jews lived at that time in paducah. most of the merchants and they were divided into loyalty is,
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much like the rest of the population. some supported the confederacy, owing to the war corruption ran rampant in paducah. it was a hotbed of smuggling from the nations abounded. not for the first time in such situations felt particularly upon the jews, long stereotyped as being financially unscrupulous, even though few in numbers they actually played an outsized role in business and trade in paducah and those immigrants there is landmark by their european accents and foreign ways. you need send confederate the lake dotted their loyalty.
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so it was that cesar casco, a staunch supporter as well as all the other known jews in the city were in the papers come out ordering them to raid the city of paducah, kentucky within 24 hours. women and children were expelled, to a dinner confucians what was recalled years later and almost forgotten into dying women had to be left behind in the care of neighbors. historian johnny al robertson of paducah preserves a somewhat dubious local tradition that citizens of this city had some jews to prevent their beans sent away. one soldier he reports is said to have not done the door of a
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jew and demanded, what are you? resident of the house answered truthfully, tailored to which the not too bright soldier replied sorry to bother you, mr. taylor, i am looking for jews. as they prepare to leave their house, cesar casco and several other jews sent a telegram to president abraham lincoln describing their plight and announcing themselves greatly insulted and outraged by this inhuman order, the carrying out of which would be the grossest violation of the constitution and our rights as good citizens and our rights as good citizens and our rights as good citizens and our rights as good citizens who rabbi angel talk about.
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lincoln in all likelihood never saw that telegram. he was busy preparing the emancipation proclamation, the irony of history and the slaves while grant was expelling the jonathan sarna was not lost on some contemporaries. the member's daily bulletin published the two documents, one above the other. but just to position of these events also shape the response to jewish leaders to grant's order. some of them feared that blacks, but jews would replace lakhs as the nation stigmatized minority. so cesar casco wasted no time.
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on my way to washington and order to get this outrageous and inhuman order of grant he announced. and as a latter-day paul revere, he wrote down to washington from a spreading the news of general order number 11 wherever he went, arriving in the nations capital just as the jewish country and jewish sobran was concluding on january the third there is a cincinnati outgoing republican congressman, jim madison who enjoyed ready access. the white house, congressman sought an immediate audience and according to the likely embellished account published many years later, lincoln sent word that he was always glad to see his friend and shortly gave
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his appearance. abraham lincoln turned out to have no knowledge whatsoever of general orders number 11 because it had not reached washington. the telegraph lines were down. according to an off quoted report, lincoln resorted to biblical imagery in his interview with haskell, a reminder of how many 19th century americans linked jews to ancient israel and america to the promised land. and so lincoln is said to have drawn the children of israel were driven from the happy land of canaan. yes casco replied and that is why we have come to father
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abraham's bosom, asking protection. and this protection, lincoln declared, they shall have. even if the conversation didn't exactly go that way, lincoln did instantly instruct the general in chief of the army, and very holick to countermand general orders number 11. he seemed to have had doubts concerning the authenticity of the original order, even though paschal had shown him a copy. so in writing to grant, chose his words carefully. if such an order has been issued in telegram read, it will be immediately revoked. two days later, several urgent
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telegrams went out from grant's headquarters in obedience to that demand and the chief of the army of washington daybed the general order from these type corkers expelling jews from the department is hereby revoked. and a follow-up meeting with jewish leaders, lincoln reaffirmed that he threw no distinction between jew and gentile to condemn a class he emphatically declared, thereby turning practically on its head to condemn a class is to say the least, to wrong the good with the bad. i do not like to hear a class or nationality can round on account of a few senators. the revocation of general orders
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number 11 by no means ended the controversy surrounding this issue is. democrats in congress to censure grand newspapers debating the issue. and retrospect, we know the jews were by no means the only bit them as human rights violation during the civil war. there were many, but jews were the only religious minority expelled as a class from a large war zone. anti-jewish prejudices during the civil war by the prominence of several jews, notably jefferson davis' right-hand man and cabinet secretary, judah p. benjamin in the ranks of the
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confederacy, benjamin way called him an israelite with egyptian principles. but the jewish confederates were by no means the only cause of prejudice, smuggling, speculating, price gouging, swindling shoddy merchandise for the military, all similarly laid at the doorstep of the jews. indeed, jews at the civil war seemed to personify wartime capitalism's ills. they were disproportionate legs were badly produced uniforms, inedible foodstuffs and other substandard merchandise that
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corrupts supply to the war effort and some marketed to infect and troops. in the eyes of many americans, including some in the military, all traders and smugglers and four-time profiteers were sharpes knows jews, whether they were actually jewish or not. the implication outgoing a perennial anti-semitic as the jews referred to report rather than fight. now, there is no doubt that some jews did illegally enrich themselves during the war. the famous jewish fraternal organization admitted as much in
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a secret communication to its members. all read it, but don't tell anyone i told you. information has been received here. countless out then takes prevent the fact that certain of our coreligionists being engaged in illegal traffic and other acts of disloyalty with those who are in rebel again against the government. what did the core of grant's order was he identified a widespread practice in smuggling with a visible group that provides jews as the class for the inevitable byproduct of wartime shortages exploited like jews and non-jews, civilian and
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military alike the occasion of 171862 as long remains somewhat mysterious. the mystery is compounded by the fact that just eight days earlier had actually countermanded in order from john ben doucet expelling all speculators, jews and others to the much more limited area around holly springs, mississippi. and the answer to that mystery brings us back to my opening story. we now know that in mid-december and 1862, ulysses s. grant received a visit from the 68-year-old father, jesse r.
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grant, a company or numbers of the family of cincinnati, significant jewish manufacturers . heyman, henry and simon back in an ingenious scheme had formed a secret partnership with the dutch but muriel, somewhat shady older grant and in return for jesse grant getting 25% of the profit, he agreed to accompany them to his sons mississippi headquarters to pursue a permit to help them secure the means and transport that cotton to new york. now he certainly didn't know how troubled relationship was when ulysses s. grant and his father,
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blake minitrial to set up on his own path braved his father's approval, but winced at many of the old man's shortcomings. in this case, according to an iowa is, the younger man blotched indignant at his father's a legal attempt to profit from his son played the military status and rage that the jewish readers who are trapped old father into such an unworthy undertaking. he refused to provide the permit, sent the man some work on the first train to the north and immediately issued the order expelling jews as a clan from his territory in a classic act
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of displacement the general expelled the jews rather than his father. now, ulysses s. grant never made public mention of his father's corrupt scheme. he never defended himself at all, not even in the log and justly celebrated personal memoirs written from fire to his desk. that was a matter not referred to. grandson, frederick who helped him with the memoirs quoted his father as saying, just as the memoir passed over in silence, another embarrassing episode from most notably the general balance of drunkenness, so to
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say ignore his orders, expelling as a class. julia asked grant, ulysses high-spirited wife proved far less. sometimes their website to remember and vice versa. in her memoirs, which are only published in the 1970s, she went out of her way to mention general orders number 11, two rypien is nothing less than obnoxious. the general she recalled felt severe reprimand he received for the order was deserved, for he had no right to fake a quarter against any special effects. now had ulysses s. grant
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expressed such sentiments himself that in 1863 the subsequent cause of his relationship with the jewish community might have been altogether different.
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>> politics focused on jews as a group. but the problem for many jews was that they choked at the -- but they strongly supported his republican party's domestic policy concerning
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reconstruction. the democrats, after all, were eager to reverse reconstruction laws, and to disenfranchise all black voters. so jews who supported, with republican policies, face a very difficult conundrum, should they vote for a party they considered bad for the country, the democrats, just to avoid voting for a man who had been to the jews. two of america's most distinguished reformist debated how jews should vote in various newspaper columns. leibman, he rabbi of chicago's oldest synagogue, often known by
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kam. today is it exactly opposite barack obama's house in chicago. and rabbi leibman argued against voting on the basis of jewish interests and in favor of what he considered broad american interests. loud as he was of being a jew, he explained, it is different when i take a balance in order to exercise my rights as a citizen. then i am not a jew, but i feel and act as a citizen of the republic, and the continued, if that party in whose hand i believe the welfare of the country was the safest were to place a -- at the helm of state -- that's the opposite party -- whose nonexistence i believe would be better for
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humanity and my country, with a messiah at their head, make moses a chief justice, i should say, my fatherland, and here you have my vote, even if all the jew in me mourns. all rabbis would agree, i think, with that sentiment. rabbi isaac, perhaps the foremost reform rabbi in the country, could not havetive agreed with it more. if wrong is wrong, he who defends is wicked, he replays, and the answer to those like adler who raised the specter of multiple loyalties, he insisted that identities in real life could not so easily be
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compartmentalized. a life-long democrat, he concluded the responsible voters needed to weigh their responsibilities as jews ands a citizens as one in the same, and recalling general order number 11, he came down forcefully against grant. now, when the votes were finally tallied, grantee merged the winner by more than 300,000 votes, and a healthy 134 electoral votes here in new york. grant lost by precisely 10,000 votes. the historians think that's a little bit too precise. for it to be true. voter fraud has a lot of things suspected, but whatever the case, the jewish votes, pundits then and now, greatly
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exaggerated the jewish vote could scarcely have made much difference, actually, at john franklin, the great historian opinioned out. half million americans who were able to vote in 1868, especially those who voted in the south, likely voted for grant. they made much more of difference in grant's favor. now, a fitting epilogue to the tumultuous battles for the jewish vote appeared in newspapers across the country during the final week of november, with the election behind him so no one would say he was pandering to the jewish vote, ulysses s. grant released an unprecedented letter, telling jews just what they wanted to hear from the president-elect. quote. i have no precedence against sex
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or race, but want each individual to be judged by his open merit. order number 11 does not sustain that statement, i admit, but that i do not sustain that order. he never would have been issued if it had not been telegraphed the moment it was penned and without reflex. now, during his eight-year presidency. grant actually went out of his way to prove that apology genuine. he appointed more jews to public office than all previous presidents combined. governor of washington and the superintendent of indian affairs, the first president to have a jewish adviser, the first to taken a synagogue dedication, the first to actively intervene
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on behalf of persecuted jews in russia and romania and more and more. you have to read the book. and in retrospect, the years of grant's presidency represented something of a golden age for american jews. during that all-too-brief period, jews achieved heightened status on the national scene. judaism won recognition from grant as faith coequal to protestantism and jews looked forward to a liberal epoch characterized by sensitivity to human rights and interreligious
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cooperation. the logic of reconstruction, or what one historian called america's second founding, the golden age, the same post civil war policies and values that opened up new opportunities for black americans during reconstruction likewise extended new opportunities for jews. and this is a good moment to remind you that there are two microphones here and i'll be taking questions in a minute or two, and if you want to ask a question, please approach one of those two standing mics, and remember, when you do, -- i haven't finished yet -- tell us your name and out of respect for others, just one question, please. but now, let me tell you about what happened following his presidency. following grant's presidency, he
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traveled around the world, including to the land of israel. in fact he is the very first president to travel there, and on several occasions, he publicly reinforced his support for jews. when he docked in 1885 here in new york. the very same week as the greatest jew in the world at that time, and amazingly, the two men were linked together in the american jewish mind as heroes and human tearans, -- humanitarians and they were mourned together in many synagogues. overcame what happened two decades earlier. subsequently, of course, grants
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reputation was like a stone. 20th century historians, some of them critical of his ben envelope lent policies towards blacks, blamed him for any number of things and ranked him close to the bottom of all american presidents. at one point only warren g. hard ranked lower. you can't get much lower than that. jews joined in this outpouring of criticism and standard jewish history still quote general order number 11 and forget everything that happened later. the new edition of the jewish encyclopedia says grant's name is irrevocably connected with
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the -- grants career makes clear he -- his transformation from enemy to friend, from a general to expelled jews as a class. to a president who embraced jews at individuals, reminds us that even great figures in history can learn from their mistakes. in america, hatred can be overcome. thank you very much. [applause] >> i want to thank you for a
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most magnificent picture of this event. my question is this. the department that general grant was in charge of was not a small geographic area. and i wonder whether you feel that his order was an emotional pique rather than something to be implemented, and for that regard i ask you, did he have any sort of method of implementation of enforcing the order or was it just he got angry? >> well, we do know that copies of the order were sent by telegram in various editions i reduce one of those telegrams in the book. so while i'm sure that he got angry, i do think that efforts
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were made to send out in all directions copies of the order, with the expectation his order would be cared out, and my suspicion -- which i can't prove -- is that the telegram lines being working, many more jews would have been expelled. >> my names arnold smith. the has nothing to do with grant but i wanted to find out under which president was a jew appointed to the cabinet? >> well, it's interesting. one of the things i revealed here is that grant actually wanted to appoint a jew, as secretary of the treasurery, and the answer would have been ulysses s. grant, but seligman
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turned the job down. he was needed in the bank and other ropes. so, the first jewish cabinet member is from new york and was appointed by the door royalty. >> i once -- i assume that a number of them were in grants own army. how did his general order affect jews in the army and was there any backlash among officers. >> it's a wonderful question. the question is how did it affect people in grant's own army. we know that one of the reasons given later for revoking the order was that there were jewish
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soldiers, and i do reproduce in the volume a letter by a jewish soldier from cincinnati who resigns from the army, claiming that in the wake of general order number 11, he finds he can no longer serve. clearly his position is made very uncomfortable by his fellow troops. so clearly there were implications. on the other hand, the highest ranking jew in grant's army was a man named marcus spiegel, the same spiegel later his relatives founded the spiegel catalogue. he unfortunately didn't survive the war but he did leave letters, and the amazing thing is he makes no reference to general order number 11 at all
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in those letters. i don't know why. whether letters were missing or didn't choose to say it or it was too painful, i don't know. but the other writer does mention it, and clearly the people who were really affected were the jewish settled because there are several telegrams asking grant, did you mean for us to expel the jewish settlers? and armies then and now run of their stomachs so if there's nobody to sell thing0s to troops, that's going to be very bad, and the settlers weren't expelled but lincoln overturned the order. >> i am jim. my question deals with the relationship of henry haleck and grant. haleck had removed grant from command. are you suspicious grant would have done something as provocative as general order number 11 without haleck even knowing about it, in spite of
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the fact the communications were down? >> well, first of all, it's wonderful that people really know their civil war history. it's great. i can't imagine -- grant had no way of knowing when he issued the order, that the telegraph lines would be cut less than 72 hours later. if he had, he would have made sure to have been there and not given a drunk murphy in charge. so i'm sure that grant assumed in the narl course of events, copies of the order would immediately be telegraphed to washington, which was supposed to happen, and then haleck would have seen it at once. at least my understanding -- because otherwise the whole story is uninintelligible -- is that no one knew about the order because the telegraph lines were down.
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now, what haleck would have done on his own, had he seen the order, especially given his feelings towards grant, that is hard to know, and this is a particularly bad time -- remember, we're talking prior to vicksburg, so grant hasn't yet proven himself, but again, that puts news the realm of the "if." apparently haleck didn't pay any attention to telegrams or protests, and it was really via lincoln that the order was revoked. haleck only being the one to send out the letter but making very clear that it was lincoln who had issued the order. >> michael from the city. you mentioned judah benjamin. do you have a view on, was the
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confederacy more open towards the jews or. >> there's no question that no jew rose up as high in the union as judah ben gentleman minimum did in the confederacy. indeed, benjamin was secretary of state in the confederacy. have to wait not kissinger before one gets to that power. we have to be careful before we make too much of the position of jews the south. remember, many areas of the south, whites were a minority, and whenever you have a white -- charleston had a big jewish community. when you have a white minority, jews are going to be accepted because the white minority is interested in taking every pale
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face to their side, in a sense, the lines are racial rather than religious, and so long as jews don't rock the boat and go along with the values of the minority group, they can gain acceptance. so, while i think it is true that in areas of the south jews did win more acceptance than they did in the north, it is rather important to remember the context under which that happened, which is not all together pretty, and that makes the story look a little bit different. but it is worth remembering that the vast majority of jews were in the north, probably -- there are 150,000 jews at that time. 120,000 or so in the north. only about 30,000 in the south.
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>> rabbi angel's introduction seems to imply general order 11 came out of nowhere because of religious freedom in america, but was it really that surprising since there was still no guarantee of religion on the state level and many of their lifetime jews would have finally received citizenship rights. maryland wasn't until 1825. >> well, we're talking about 1862. >> it's not that it was in 1776 that jews were fully integrated and fully accepted on both state and federal level. >> so what your pointing out, importantly, is that the first amendment reads congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. doesn't say anything about the states. it's only going to be in the 20th century that the supreme court is going to interpret the
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14th amendment as applying all of the first ten to the states. most of the states, and certainly all of the states where jews actually live, had granted jews full equality by, as you say, 1826, and the last was maryland. and new hampshire, where you didn't really have a jewish community, doesn't get around to it until 1877. i do think that while it's easy at any point to find a discrimination against and prejudice against jews, when you compare the american situation not to some utopian ideals but to what is going on elsewhere in the world, even in england where jews could not yet serve in government, or in germany, and let alone in eastern europe
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where the majority of jews were -- they'd been thrown into the pale of settlement. when you look that ways the american experiment is a great experiment, and there's no parallel to the great documents that america had. those documents are ideals, admittedly, and there's a gap between the ideal and the realization, but other countries didn't even have the ideals. had america not appeared different, most of those immigrants wouldn't have come to america. it was mighty dangerous crossing the ocean, and you would have gone somewhere else. they came to america, believing that america was indeed different, and i think european jews took a great interest in the american experiment. so, yes, i do think american -- even before then, the new world opened up possibilities that
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didn't exist in the old world, and people looked in wonder. >> last question. >> randy helm. i'm fascinated by the idea which seems very compelling to me that grant's intemperate response was triggeredded be the fact his father was complicit in the smuggling scheme. i have heard, and read a little bit, that lincoln's own sister-in-law was also involved in smuggle, so it was pretty rampant, and that lincoln could be intemperate about that. which would indicate that his -- that his was really a matter of principle for him. he had a short fuse when it came
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to smuggling as well and i wondered if that had come up in your research. >> i don't know his relatives were in cahoots with jews. the point is there was vast amount of smuggling, and from the point of view of the generals, this was the worst kind of unamerican activity that could have been engaged in because grant and sherman deeply believed that you can't trade with a country and also wage war with a country at one and the same time, and that if in fact there had been a full scale blockade of the south, then the war would have ended much more quickly, and that's probably
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true. but we now know that the possibility of making money by crossing the blockade, was enormous. you could make easily 400% on your money. that's more than i get in my bank account nowdays, and that temptation was too great for people to withstand, and even in their own day -- and maybe that's why we read history -- efforts to blockade various countries, to get them to behave, don't succeed as well as we would like because people don't uphold the blockade the way we would wish. so in that sense, we read about the 19th century, but we see parallels to our own day. thank you. [applause]
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>> what are you reading this number book tv wants to know. >> i've got three books rolling right now. one is "passage to power" by robert carroll, about the kind of competition and interactions between president kennedy and lyndon johnson, and really from lyndon johnson's vantage point, and pretty interesting kind of hard-nosed politics publicly and behind the scenes, jockeying for position throughout primary election in 1960 and throughout the convention, which is very interesting. the other book is the social conquest of the earth, by edward o. wilson, which is basically how our species came to rely on social interactions, emotional intelligence, and the way we communicate with each other and kind of build a social network, and how far back that goes, and
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that's a really interesting book to be reading at the same time you're reading about the kennedy/johnson interactions, because there's so much perception and emotional intelligence that's needed in the field of politics and reading people and all of this and this is something that our species has been evolving with for a long, long time now. and then the final book is by father thomas keeting, called heartfulness, and he is the -- not originator but someone who started to promote a christian-based meditation. has wrote about the importance of having some meditation connected to your religion and how that really deepens our connection to god and everything else, and he wrote this book based on conversations he had, and heartfulness.
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a beautiful book about christian meditation. so, we got a wide range of reading material this summer. >> coming up, we take a three-quarter -- take a look at the civil war. >> what are you reading this summer? >> you know, the first thing i do is looking for anything michael conway has out and i'll buy it in hard copy, by the way. i'm reading that right now. there sue crafton is one of my
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favorites. comes out away another -- abb -- i think she's up to z now. but that's great fun. and a good beach read. i'm really love mysteries and action-peaked. i stay away from politics when i'm on vacation, and good for something more -- or airplanes can something that takes me away from where i am and allows me to relax. >> next, book tv talked with history professor chandra manning about her book "what this cruel war was over." the interview i part of become tv's college series and what recorded at the riggs library on campus.
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>> host: now on your screen is professor chandra manning, the author of this book "what this cruel war was over: soldiers, slavery, and the civil war." professor manning, what was your approach to this book? >> guest: the first thing to say about approach is that you give me way too much credit when you say approach. the book is not at all the book i thought i was going to write when i started. i started with an interest in civil war soldiers and a a desire to read their mail but absolutely no intention at all of writing about soldiers and bravery. none. i was interested in the enlisted soldiers, the farmers and shopkeeps and nonslave holders and northern grain growers. so i didn't think we were going to care about slavery very much at all, and i was interested in their war, and was especially
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interested how they differed from each other, not just north and south but how somebody from ohio is different from somebody from chesapeake. so i was interested in what people who lived in the 19th 19th century throughout about how where they lived connected to the nation. what did it mean to be an american if you were from different parts of the nation. so my plan was to do that, to look at how these guys talk about america, how do they talk about the united states, talk about the union, talk about the confederacy, talk about the south. hoping that they would do it substantially different from each other and, voila, i would have something to say. so, i headed off into the archives, 45 of them. >> host: first of wall, what archives? >> guest: i visited archives from every state that fought in the civil war. so there's 45 archives represented in the book. some huge ones that come to mine, the library of congress or
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pennsylvania, which has an enormous army history collection, and smaller libraries, state historical associations, the vermont historyical society. jackson in independence, mississippi. i didn't want to read more about u.s. grant. i wanted to read about the grunt who was at the back of the line. so what's why i look for him. and what i really wanted were these soldiers to say i look at the flag and think of my farm, or i think of my wife, or my mother. and they didn't cooperate. they wouldn't do what i wanted them to do, and i was really frustrated with them for that reason. >> host: were you finding a similar theme among boast union and confederate soldiers? >> guest: two things. i knew the union and confederate differences. i was less interested in those, than in -- east-west, and i
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found very little of the east-west difference that i was looking for. there were midwesterners who thought people from the east were prissy, and people in the east thought about the wild west. but they wouldn't stop talking about what they weren't exposed to talk about and that was slavery and that's what they were not supposed to care about and it wasn't supposed to enter the center of the world. so i spent a good long time annoyed with them for not doing what wanted them to do until finally, duh, i woke up and realized there's a story here. i didn't think i would talk about slavery, and they are. so i need to understand. why why did they care? what difference did it make to somebody from arkansas or alabama, who never owned a slave, whether or not slavery survived? what difference did it make to
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somebody who grew wheat in illinois or who made shoes in massachusetts. why do they care if the union survived or there was slavery or not. and once i figure out that was my question, that became my approach. again, the approach sounds like i knew what i was doing from the outset, and i didn't. it took me two years of archives, days in the archives, to figure that out. >> host: so professor manning, as you went through the letters, what were soldiers -- let's start with the north. what were you founding northern soldiers saying about slavery? >> guest: at the beginning i was struck by the wide range of opinions on slavery. at the beginning the war really is about union for most northern soldiers -- not all but most -- and what i mean by that is that most of them entered the war convinced the united states has to survive. it ha has to survive to show the world that representative
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government can work. they were kids in 1848. and a series of revolutions in 1848 in europe, as they see it, failed. failed democratic revolutions, and so they see the united states-this is it, the world's last shot. we have to keep it going here or it will never be tried again. and they thought -- we have to prove that this thing can survive. that's how they start. but they don't have to be the south very long before they begin to think, hmm, why did they get into this fix to begin with? they talked to southerners and talked to slaves, and they're really struck by how we got into this problem to begin with because of this institution of slavery, and if you want to solve a problem, the only way to do it is to root out the cause. so, union soldiers made a shirt, -- shift much earlier
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than i anticipated. the big shift begins in the summer of 1861 with soldiers writing home to their families and elected officials to say that if we want to win this war and if we don't want to fight it again in ten years, we need to get rid of the problem. we need to get rid of slavery or it's going to be right back at square one. so they at first took a really practical approach to the slavery problem. it's the way to solve a problem. get rid of the cause, problem goes away. this is their first reaction to what they view as the causes of the war. then as they stay in the south, more and more they interact with real live slaves, real live people who run the union army by the thousands, and suddenly it's rder to dismiss slave as an
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abstracts, or black people as undefined cat goal it's hard to think of them this way win you have individuals with names and stories in your camp. and so the initial feels about slavery are quite instrumental. it's a problem, solve it. but extended experience in the south humanizes african-american people for soldiers, and they begin to take a more reflective look at -- there's something wrong with this. it's not just inconvenient. something wrong, and it's got to go because you only win a war when god is on your side, and there's no way god lets you win if you let something like slavery exist. so a sort of practical response in the early months is joined by a moral and even religious reckoning as the war'ds. >> you're finding that across the board in the northern subjects. >> guest: i am. there's differences of opinion. you have two million men in union blue, but two million
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people are going disagree, but one exception, the food is bad. they all agree on that but there's divisions of opinion about everything. but what its striking is how weighted the opinion is. again, not at the outset. there's a big range at the outset, but as the war proceeds, so a lot of guys who enter the war -- i want nothing to do with slavery. one in particular is chauncey welton, i call him mouthy chauncey. i think it's 18 or 19. from ohio. and he enlists and he and his father are quite close and they're also very active or enthusiastic in the sort of following of the democratic party, the copperheads. the party that is most given to race baiting and most opposed to the notion of emancipation, and that's how he enters, and he gets mid-way through the war,
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even as late as 1863, with the emancipation proclaimation, and he is not sure the emancipation is what he signed up for. not going to leave but not happy about it. but he stays in the south. goes through experiences no one at home can even imagine, and he was the most rabid antiabolitionist i found in the early months, but the end of the war is writing home to his father and uncle to reeducate them. at one point he writes to his father and says, you think i have turned against my country. i think you are mistaken considerable, which is -- that's why i call him mouthy chonsy, and he explains why the war has to taken down slavery. then at the very end of the war, how he greets the ending is, yes, we're feet, feet, free, from the blighting curse of slavery. that's 180 degrees turnaround,
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and so if you look at any moment in the union ranks, of course you're going to find a range of opinions, but by the end of the war that range has considerably narrowed, and at any time in the war there are a lot of people who are shifting. >> host: were northern soldiers' letters censored? >> guest: that's a good question and the answer is no, and that's really one of the charms. here are three million men who fought in the civil war. most of whom would never have left us their personal thoughts were it not for the war. why would you? the people you loved you talked to. but they were away from home so they had to use writing to talk about what they care about. that's what drew me to to project in the first place. it's very hard to get at what did order people care about and think about thaws they don't lead paper inside the way george washington does. so that's how i was drawn to
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civil war soldiers to begin with. so the letters are completely uncensored. they're expected to leave out sensitive military information, but they'll tell you, that's not hard. we don't know any. but there's no office, there's no -- officers have enough to do. they don't look at the men's mail. also don't look at a really interesting type of publication, soldiers newspapers and they were interesting. morale, welfare, and recreation in the civil war so they had to amuse themselves, and one of the ways they do it, in many residents, is enlyssoid guys start newspapers, and sometimes they do it with a piece of paper and a pen and they're hand-written, and sometimes they do it by occupying the printing press of the local southern newspaper, the barryville conserver conservator. the editor was setting the type
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to his newspaper one day in 1862. in marches the first minnesota and they decide not to undo all his work. they will just print the other page. so this newspaper was printed with one page of local news, and two pains of first minnesota news, and other places men actually travel with portable printing presses. and these newspapers are exclusively -- almost exclusively enlisted men's ideas. they write them for themselves, and those are not censored. and also not self-censored in the sense you're writing a letter to your mom, you -- i want went to know my son hasn't had decent meal in two weeks and his socks had holes. when you're writing for other soldiers they know there's that stuff. so they don't need to soften the
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edges. they're the sort of almost raw voice of enlisted soldiers and it's hard to imagine anything like that today. stars and stripes in world war, which goes through a formal censorship process. nothing like that. >> host: chandra manning, when did you get interested in the civil war? >> host: i can't remember not being interested in 19th 19th century u.s. history in particular. i loved little house on the prairie, believe it or not, when i was a kid, and that really drew me to the 19th century. i was very close to my grandmother, who taught me to read when i was two, and she was fascinated by the civil war, and i can't explain why. our family wasn't in the united states yet. anything about her, i was going to be just like her, so i became very interested in the civil war pretty young, probably eight or nine when i read the "life of
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johnny reb." and one was 1943, and another one in 1952, and they're descriptive books about civil war soldiers. if you want to know what a soldier wore or what the buttons on the uniform looked like or what kind of practical jokes he played on his friends, if you want to know anything about his daily life, they will never be surpassed. i read those quite young, and the bug bit then. so, i've been interested for a very long time. here at georgetown, i teach 19th century u.s. history generally, but i teach a class in civil war and reconstruction, and call it my total emergence experience class because we play civil war music every class. i have them eat hard tac at one point. but my supplier is out of business. i also teach classes on the history of baseball and other 19th century topics.
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>> host: chandra manning, what did you find in the southern soldiers' letters. >> guest: they surprised me even more. i walked into this project just convinced they were not going to talk about slavery. why would they? i couldn't see how two out of three white families in the confederacy did not open slaves. overwhelming majority of the men in the ranks were nonslaveholders. i thought there would be a, what's in it for me, altitude towards slavery. so the far for them would have been fought for different reasons, and i went into the project -- it was clear that succession happened to safeguard the institution of slavery. i knew that but i didn't think the regular guys saw the war in those terms. so i expected the war to be for him a sort of process of disillusionment. i entered for one reason and find it's about something else and this isn't my war after all.
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and that's what i thought i would find, and i really didn't. what i found were men who did care, first and foremost about their loved ones, their families, their homes. but what i was unprepared for how closely they linked those things to the institution of slavery. so, you don't live in north carolina or arkansas or virginia and you don't own any slaves but you're connected to the institution and you know it in a number of ways. there was structural ways, kinships, your family doesn't own slaves but great uncle hal does. the process of slave hiring or slave renting you can't own a slave but you need help this year, you can rent one from your slave-holding neighbor for far less than you can hire any other kind of labor ask that well help grew in crunch time, harvest and planting. you're no fool.
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you know the wealth of your region is dependent on this anymorously valuable source of property. so there are structural ways in which white southerners are connected and they're not dumb. they know it. the real connections go down to a gut level. if you are white southern man and you don't own slaves, you still enjoy a certain position in society, and you live in a society that really values equality, really values the idea that you and i are just as good as one another. we also grew up in an age of grow growing inequality, and a age of high mobile. people on the move all the time. very insecure world. so what if i live in a shack and you live on plantation, what makes us unequal? you can't own a slave. they also think of themselves as husbands, as fathers, as brothers, as protectors.
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what do they see as the greatest danger, the greatest threat to the people they love? emancipation. they live in a society that is 40% black. what happens? when 40% of the population, who you know as pretty good rein to be upset with the other 60%, is freed. they believe their loved ones are in danger if slavery goes i away. the final -- final when i talk about it -- the final reason why i think slavery matters to these guys is religious, and that sounds funny, but slavery was in the bible. not even in the new testament does christ come out directly against the institution of slavery. who are these northerners who think they know better than god how to order society?
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that's dangerous. so if everything you know and love in the world rests on this foundation of slavery, and someone is talking about messing with that foundation, you just felt like your whole world got rattled. and i found right from the outsetting are white southerners, who really don't see themselves having a direct economic interest but see the very things they love the most as dependent upon the survival of slavery and that keeps them in the field. >> host: how easy was it to find the trove of letters that all these archives? >> guest: easier than i thought it would be. i think because i tended to go to sort of smaller ones. so, the letters tended to be the -- somebody's attic got cleaned out and they didn't know what to do with these things so they went to the state or the
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county. so there are hundreds of thousands -- this is uncountable amount of these letters out there and that actually turned out -- i didn't have the problem i couldn't find enough sources. i did have to have a strategy for -- so many more sources to look out. how die choose? so the way i did it, stuck with -- occasionally guys would be promoted and become junior officers. i look at men who enlisted as enlisted men, and i wanted just ordinary people so people we never heard of before and i wanted my army to look close to how the real army looked. so i tried to keep the easterners and westerners, how many rural and urban, how many farmers and teachers and try to keep those ray shows as close as possible. so i chose by sort of demographic, guess, data, as much as anything. and i tried really hard not to overrepresent any particular group in who i looked at.
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in one way, though, there is -- i should admit there is one -- well, there are two -- there are two not quite accurate representations. one is obviously ill literal soldiers. there are fewer of those than we think. over 80% of the armies could read and write. so illiteracy is not such a small thing. now there are people in regiments who write for illlet rat soldiers and i read those letters. the group least likely to be literate were black soldiers and those are the ones who needed the most digging, and there are a couple of ways to get at those. one is the same way, somebody in the regiment to write for others. the other is that black soldiers who could wright, often wrote into northern black newspapers
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and so there are columns and columns of black soldiers' hers in northern free black newsletters. sometimes black soldiers will hold public meetings, and together they come up, let's just do this. a series of resolutions, can things we believe together and we agree on, some somebody will write those down and they'll record a vote or reaction. so it's the same as write -- not the same as writing to your sister but its they're voice. so those are the soldiers that there are, purposely there because they're part of the army, but i have to admit the sort of escaped slave who had never learned to read or write. his voice is the least likely to be captured. the other misrepresentation is not that meaningful but i would get to an archive and look through all the soldiers they had and make a list of everybody i wanted to look at and start at a and go through and right around thursday, if i was there
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to a week i would realizing i'm only at m. so the beginning of the alphabet. so this is early alphabet names are overrepresented as opposes to the ss and ts. and other than that i tried pretty hard to not overly weight anybody. >> host: what about women's voices? did you look at return letters? >> guest: i did some when i wanted to know what they were responding to. those do exist, few fewer of them, though, then the soldiers letters. some has to do with the practicality. if you're a soldier and write home, they can put it in a drawer and they're afraid somebody might happen to you so they have an insend different of so the soldiers letter were more likely to survive. the loved ones letters to the front, if you're a song you have a knapsack, you don't have a drawer and it gets wet and muddy and survival makes letters back,
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letters to soldiers from women, harder to get but that it didid survive. sometimes soldiers send back the letters so they can get saved. i did not make specific inquiry but some people are beginning to do that work. >> hey before we have been talking with chandra manning here professor at georgetown university and codirector of the georgetown workshoppin' 19th 19th century u.s. history. this is her book "what this cruel war was over: soldiers, slavery, and the civil war." professor manningings, thank you for your time. >> guest: my produce sure. -- pleasure. it was nice to talk to you. >> i would say i'm working from 9:00 to 3:00. most writers who say they write for seven or eight hours a day are exaggerating.
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you just can't. you sort of lose it after a while. you certainly lose it when you're working on a novel. because the edges of your imagination start to blur after, i would say, best case, about three hours. but even when you're writing a nonfiction book, you know, you may be putting three good hours of pounding away and the rest of it is research, looking at e-mail, making another cup of coffee, that sort of thing. fiction usually begins with a theme for me. identity. redemption. art. things like that. but the whole process really picks up steam when i start to ground some of my thoughts in a character who will become the protagonist, and that character becomes sharper and sharper to me. i think all writing is
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affirmatively good. only because it leaves a piece of yourself behind let's say you're blogging through your 20s and almost no one reads your blogs, but 20 years from then, you will have children, and you can show them what you wrote, and they will understand things about you that they might not understand otherwise. and what i always say is writing, even in its most basic form, a letter, a poem, a note to someone, it confers an immortality. we have all had that experience of loving someone, losing them, opening a drawer and finding a card they signed or a letter they wrote and saying, oh, still alive. still alive in some way. so i think the more writing, the better. [inaudible]
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>> you know, i think regrets are things that a good columnist -- i like to think i was good columnist -- gets out before she publishes. in other words, you spend a fair amount of time at the computer backstopping yourself. when you're writing about your family constantly, and even when you're writing about events, part of your brain is thinking, how will this feel in ten years? how unequivocal do i want to be about certain things? so i think you do a lot of -- i wouldn't at all call it censoring. it's more taking the long view. and because of that, i don't really have any regrets about anything i've written. >> any advice for friends in. >> yeah. don't wait for inspiration. i don't know where she is but she's not coming. at least she's never coming
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here. i never sit here -- occasionally there's like a fleeting fly-by, and then she's gone again and then it's all just about hard work. the hard work part does not largely consist of thinking about it. people say, i'm thinking about writing a book, and i say no book ever gets written by thinking about it. you just have to sit down whether you feel like it or not. ...
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we continue our look at the civil war
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>> next, tranter recounts the design and construction of the united states capitol building amongst the social and political landscape of the mid-19th century. it's about an hour. >> well, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. thank you for coming in today. my name is donald kennon, the u.s. historical capital society were to oversee our scholarship and educational programs. it's my pleasure to welcome you to today's brownbag book lecture. i would like to invite you back on thursday where we will have our second march from back lecture featuring a book or the
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historical novel. it's the first time we got a of that historical bob dole. it's about speaker thomas birkett read in the contentious 51st commerce. if you got a chance uribe camille enjoyed meeting the author. if you have that, come anyway and listen to him talk about the book in its research and doing a and maybe get some pointers. at an outcome would probably have some budding authors in our audience either here or on c-span. let me just briefly introduce today a soft authors so we can get into the program. i would mention that there is an article by our speaker, guy gugliotta in our current edition of our capital film magazines, copies of it in the back. please pick one up on your way
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out. it's also available online in and interact diversion at the historical society's website, and www..u.s. chs.org. our speaker today is guy gugliotta. after commanding a swift boat in south vietnam he became a journalist who has covered latin america, served 16 years as a national reporter for the "washington post" and has written extensively on science and policy issues for a variety of publications including "the new york times," "national geographic," wired, discover and the smithsonian. easier today to discuss his recent book, "freedom's cap: the united states capitol and the coming of the civil war," a book that explores one of the most interesting periods in the history of the capital in congress in several of the most interesting personalities that have graced the united states capitol building.
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so gaia, the podium the sewers. is yours. >> thank you. can everybody should be okay? and ceased to be here in the last time i was here was to ask don for money and a half -- capitol historical society provided with koreans to do the research on this book. i came to this project in 1998. i was covering the congress for the "washington post" at that time and it was the middle of president clinton's impeachment troubles. he had troubles with monica lewinsky in the gingrich had troubles with his second wife. i was covering the house judiciary committee and chairman
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henry hyde and the committee's efforts to arrive at an indictment against president clinton. we had them working for maybe 16 days straight. 1998 was like a year and finally, the press secretary for representative hyde, a guy named sam stratton, who was a capital above said forget about this. not covering this anymore today. let's take a tour of the u.s. capitol and i'll show you around. so the first thing we did was climb the staircase between the inter-dome and the outer dome to the catwalk that goes around the rotunda on the inside. after i had made death grip on the radio and open my eyes and looked down to my patch myself, my god, this is an incredible view. i didn't know you could do this.
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the capital was a place i worked, not really a place i noticed at all. of course you know what the capitalists, but she never think of it as a building. next, c. and took us out, i'm sorry. that little catwalk fare. after i had made death grip around the rails very much 300 feet i thought i god, this is really some pain. then during the process of this little to her, i found out the modern u.s. capitol, that is to say in the dome were built between 1850 in 1865. this was to me an incredible thing because i need the u.s. cap will assert that the iconic image of republican democracy throughout the world and it absolutely amazed me that this building have been created, had
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been made into its modern image during a time when the greatest republic, the greatest democratic republic in the world was pretty much going down the tubes and stayed there. so that's how i got into the project. i think what we're going to talk about it getting to hear from here. this is the original capital. it is now the center section. i'm sure you recognize it. you can't see too well, but there's lovely ground here in the front. nice approach, beautiful rotunda. the capital is a magnificent tourist attraction in 1980 -- 1850, like it is that when people could wander up the stairs and talk to senators and congressmen and everybody sort of mingled happily about damages from peddlers that were walking around inside.
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there are a couple of things -- actually several things wrong with the cap will, however. this is the senate, an intimate room, very good to watch speeches for him. it was not good for spectators. charles bulfinch, benjamin latrobe designed the senate chamber. charles bulfinch put up with balcony, two rows, but it's semipermanent and it only accommodated a few people. this is interesting because the senate and the senators with iraq's terrors of the 1850s. their debates were taken down in verbatim and the congressional record of that time in the globe was reprinted in debates were reprinted in their entirety and newspapers up and down the eastern seaboard and keep all
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the way to st. louis and a point. this is no surprise. after andrew jackson, all of the president served up to 1851 termers and several of them were related to pull. and the two then i'm particularly involved with and it "freedom's cap," franklin pearce and james began in were really good. so most of the action took place in the senate, where you could see henry clay, john c. calhoun committee and the webster, and thomas hart, stephena douglas, seeing houston. these are the names everybody knew. not only did everybody know them, but they were in washington all the time. franklin pearce, john buchanan, paul, they came and went, the senators were forever and they
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were the stars. people love to be able to get feed in the gallery there and watch the debate. there is another thing that was wrong though besides having not too much space was that the senate was very hot in the summer, very cold in the winter. there were two stoves that sat behind the vice president's chair. the vice president was actually served as the president of the senate. and the senator walked behind the president of the senate and they sold guys with their hands on their behind, walking around and standing in front of the stoves warming their hands. and when they went to the not, they were sitting in their chairs wrapped in buffalo robes and blankets. seeing houston were mexican poncho nitpicks sombrero and leaned back and carved little
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hearts and handed them off to the ladies in the gallery during debate. so that is what it was like. the second bad thing about it was that everybody in the house in venice chewed tobacco or took snuff. this was never remarked upon in any newspapers or in a contemporary account from american authors, but every single foreigner that i ever encountered the road memoirs or wrote a story about this was one of the first things they commented on. charles dickens said when you go to the senate, it's a lovely room. but if you drop something, make sure you don't reach for a pathetic pair of gloves. so the place was sort of a mass and it needed a little help and a little x and chin. this is the house of representatives, currently has most of you ensuring this room know, statuary hall. there is one good thing to say
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about the house of representatives. it was generally regarded in still is regarded today as an absolutely beautiful room. there was one really bad thing to say about the house of representatives and that was that nobody could hear anything. as you see here, the ceiling is curved and the way the room is structured, somebody's handing in the well here could be giving a speech in somebody out here could hear that person perfectly. somebody appear couldn't hear a single thing. it was all white noise. it was total bedlam and the house was known for that in hot and known for that for some time. and one of the stars of the house of representatives in 1850 was a tiny, tiny with congressmen who later became
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vice president of the confederacy. his most prominent characteristic was even though she weighed less than 100 pounds, he had a voice that could cut through the atmosphere in the house like a laser. so he could be heard by everybody. so the power resteh the man with the loudest voice and that was alexander stephens. but the theme that the capital delay needed more than anything was more space. the united states had just won a huge track of land from the mexican war in 1848. a year later, gold has been discovered in california. there were 97,000 people in 1850. california needed to become a state. more senators would be coming, many more representatives. there was in fact no room.
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but it was this man oddly enough in the second big surprise that i had in doing the research for this book that played the largest political role in enlarging the capital. this is jefferson davis, senator from mississippi, senate democrat, outspoken states rights and proslavery advocate. during the 1850, the debate that resulted in the great compromise to place and nobody did more to polarize the debate and nobody threatened secession more often. nobody cried foul more often than jefferson davis. he was one of the leading advocates and became, over time, probably the leading advocate for states rights in congress. at the same time, however, it is jefferson davis at a time when
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all politics were really vocal, when almost all politicians, whether democrat or waves, whether northern or southern regarded the federal government as an absolutely inconvenient, inconvenient institution, good mostly for waging war for setting tariffs, the jefferson davis put forth the idea that a great nation needed a great seat of government. it wasn't just that the united states is getting bigger. the united states is becoming more important. and he saw -- he had a vision of the united states is a nation at a time when very few people dead. during debates on getting appropriation to begin the expansion of the capital, somebody said he wanted
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$100,000. and somebody said what hundred thousand dollars, i mean, that's not going to get you anything. and this was true, but then as now but will idea is to get a program started. you start a program it's real easy to add to it and it's really hard to kill any programs. so davis knew this because he's a skilled bureaucrat, sending people to know about him. seeing as the note wasn't going to be enough. his reply to this was your absolutely right. $100,000 of that going to do it, no matter how much money you give me today, it is not going to be enough. this nation is going to be so vague that there is no building we can build on the present site of the capital that's going to hold everything we need. in the future we're going to have buildings all over this hill. and he was right. he didn't live to see it, but he
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was absolutely right and he was one of the few people than you said this. so one of the questions that i tried to ask and try to answer in "freedom's cap" was how one fact he did this come to viewpoint? and i've calmed to the conclusion that the main reason was that he was a graduate of west point and like many west point graduates during this time, he was very well-traveled. he had been well-traveled as a child and in the army of course he was sent out to build forts in the middle of nowhere to write back and forth with calgary in oklahoma and he knew washington. he knew new york, east, west, he knew the north. he knew the country. he could see the extent of the nation understand that the whole
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was greater than the sum of its parts. he never reconciled faith the two conflicting images are the two conflicting images that the united states. one, the great nation. and to, mississippi. and state and individual states in their riot and eventually caught up to him and eventually he had to choose. the whole time that he was in washington, first as a senator, then a secretary of war and a senator again, he was the capital extensions greatest political component. but once he left, once he became president of the confederacy come he never returned to washington, never saw the completion of his work. so anyway, he got his money. not quite as much as he would have wished, but that the project started.
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and he held a contest for architects to see who would be tasked with holding it. and he went off to mississippi to run for governor. he last and the job of hiring an architect in hiring a designer was left to fill more, the president that time. fillmore had another contest and in june of 1851, he hired this man. thomas u. walter at philadelphia, he is the second major character in "freedom's cap," very interesting man, itself a demand. he apprenticed his father is a bricklayer than enjoined as a partner. later he went to the franklin institute to study architecture, graduated and became an architect, opened up his own office. by the time he was hired to
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build the large capital, he was 43 years old, probably the most successful architect in the country. it's very wealthy, had a whole bunch of kids and a whole bunch of relatives come the vast majority of which he supported in the fire and brimstone, very fast worker and extremely aggressive. she immediately got to work and began to dig foundation. and by the end of 1851, a lot of progress had been made. again as if washington today, thomas walter brady and his 18th new one probably had about 800 people working for him, most guys carrying space,
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stones and doing manual labor to date the foundations of the new wing. they were going to go up on the sides. well, millard fillmore, was obvious at that point was a lame duck. so if you've got 800 jobs in your work and in congress or right next to congress and the senators and congress are you doing a tenure patroness a guy who's not around in another 10 or 11 months, you see that in say let's get him out of here. let's put my cayenne. and so congress had two or three investigations of walter for bravery for kate backs, shoddy workmanship and most of the time in 1852 was involved in sending a these attacks. by the time the fillmore administration mandated early 1853, walter who would do nothing wrong nevertheless had his job hanging by a thread.
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so this is at the capital probably looks like an early 1853 when franklin pearce gave the natural speech from the eastern frontier. you can see the foundations of the wings starting to. you can also see the beautiful lawn beside few frames ago has now disappeared and is replaced by piles of stone, piles of junk and mud. so opposer briley particularly attractive. franklin pearce was the youngest person who would ever become president of the united states at that time. i believe he was 44. a recovering alcoholic, very good-looking and gave his speech without notes. but other than not, he was pretty much in it the soup. and proved this dramatically during the four years he was president. on the other hand, he was
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tremendous asset for the united states capitol because the first thing he did or one of the first things he did was the point jefferson davis to be a secretary of war. not jefferson davis took over and within two weeks, he had displaced the secretary of the interior as the cabinet officer in charge of the capital project than two weeks after that, he appointed this man to be the engineer in charge of the project. this is army captain, montgomery c. meigs, just about the time he was hired as engineer in charge. he's a captain in the the army corps of engineers, about her to six years at this time. had absolutely no reputation, no particular distinguishing characteristics. he had spent almost all of his
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career out in the middle of nowhere building for its, dredging harbors and doing what army corps of engineers p. will do, which is spend as little time in the army as possible, then retire and go build canals, railroads or run mines for the turn make a lot of money. west point is at that time the only four-year engineering college in the country. its graduates -- its top graduates were neither into the army corps of engineers for the army topographical engineers. they were part of the finest, most highly trained engineers in the country. it would've been foolish for them to stay in the army. meigs made $1800 a year, which even then was not much money. now there were two things about him that were important.
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first was that the answer to jefferson davis. he didn't answer to the president. and jefferson davis was not somebody wanted to mess with. he was known as a ferocious advocate in favor of slavery, but anybody who knew him from congress, either as a senator or a house member knew that he was also a vicious insider, very clever bureaucrat and tremendous protector of turf, hulled crutches capable of towering rages. if you caught us that i'd come you never cut off his bat site and he had a hair trigger temper and was willing -- which went off at the slightest provocation. so you go from walter, whose protect your with millard fillmore, a disappearing wake and you come to montgomery c. meigs, the 36 captain.
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somebody comes up to meigs and since i don't like the way you're doing this. that's fine, talk to my boss. talking to my boss was not a good thing, was not a fun experience. so someone did three things when he came in. and that was the second thing about montgomery c. meigs. he turned out to be brilliant and his innovation and his energy and his skill coupled with walter's artistic talent and design skill induces political clout is much of this project forward. during the four years of the pearce administration come in 1853 to 1857, the lion's share of the new wing some part of the new dome were built. everything was put in place during this period.
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meigs did three things immediately. he decided at the marble facing on the capital was too late. it needed to be healthier. and he also decided to put into more stairways, one on the new senate wing to the north and another on the new house wing to the south. the combined effect of these two -- these two changes was to make a capital already by far the largest building in washington, even more massive come as massive as today. it dominated the skyline of washington. it dominated the city and in effect it dominated the country. that was the idea. meigs wanted things to last for millennia. davis wanted to make a statement about u.s. power. the two of them were like this. they were absolutely one mind
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and this was a major decision in bringing the capital to this sort of dominant position it has today. the third thing that meigs decided to do was move the new chambers away from the windows were walter had placed them and put them in the center of each of the wings, with hallways on all four sides. this was very controversial at the time it was done and remained very controversial for a hundred years. because they think, although i was never able to make sure this come of this the first time that anyone in a large public holding up his sword in the united states had decided to construct it and have it completely, artificially heated and ventilated. someone spent a lot of time planning this, got all the
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approvals from prominent scientists and never really convince congressmen and senators it was the right thing to do. so we had gotten off to a good start, but the main accomplishment of this period, which occurred in 1854 was this. in april of that year, thomas walter wrote a friend of his in new york and said i have devised a way to replace the old dome within new dome made of cast-iron. and he had taken his inspiration from the pantheon in paris, from mostly probably from saint paul and one to introduce a peters said the vatican. he visited all these places is a young architect many years
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before. and he has solved the problem that the new capital had and that the old dome, which was too big for the old capital was not too small for the new capital. so you needed a larger dome, but he needed a material that the old original capital that the foundation could handle. cast iron was that material. meigs was hugely impressed with this and hugely enthusiastic about it. at the same time, i believe this meigs was slightly jealous because he realized and set right at the beginning and conversations with davis, told him, you know, i can put the chambers inside. i can make the walls were massive. i can do the same, but this
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building will be defined by the way it looks in the front and by this dome watcher has created. there was nothing he was ever going to be able to do to equal that. didn't stop him from trying. they did in 1854 he hired this man, constantino or maybe to paint frescoes and to do interior design work for him. as i'm sure most of you have seen committees are part of the core doors on the first floor of the senate. or maybe designed the internal layout of much of the cap will and artists have been filling in the blanks for more than a hundred years now. the other important thing was as an italian, he was the focus of
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much scorn. from local congressmen and senators who are feeling an tense pressure from the nativist movement called the know nothings at this point. someone had hired innumerable germans, french, italian, scots, irish, new immigrants to help him with all of this work. he would've been crazy crazy not to. the revolutions in europe were spitting out excerpts everyday and washing up on the united states shores practically every day and he would've been a fool not to hire him. so he did in at the same time his nativist movement had arisen because, i think, because there was a move to sort of blaming others for other problems that were going on in the united states. and it was basically only one problem, slavery and by deciding that it was the foreigners fall
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the people releasing jobs and foreigners fall of people were angry at each other, you could divert attention from the main problem, which apparently and indeed this time a non-had no solution. so at the same time these developments are going on, but things are getting fancier when things are more elegant inside the capital, the country is sinking into greater and greater despair. second thing that someone had to do for another thing someone had to do was now that there was a plan for the capitol dome he had to put a statue on it, on the top. he decided to hire thomas crawford, u.s. ex-pat living in rome, asked him for design and crawford sent this lady in the middle of 1855.
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the meigs love to. meigs loveday, davis loved it. so this is great, said crawford dacula during thing you need pedestal here because i don't want her to be standing to ackley on top of the dome. can you redesign it, give me a pedestal. so crawford, fast worker just like meigs brings back a pedestal here, but also the lady is completely different. most important, she is wearing this is the cap. this is not as a liberty cap, a symbol from antiquity of the menu a good slave. it had been made during the american and french revolutions
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and crawford wanted to use it. you have freedom, triumphant war and freedom. wow, someone knew that he did make liberty cap because she thought that they were inappropriate in the united states because the united states -- the people in the united states were never slaves. they were always free. this was an unusual statement to make in a country with 4 million people in bondage. i thought okay, so meigs said all right, we won't have the liberty cap. and so he sat back to crawford for a third design. and this is what crawford came back with. and this is the freedom
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triumphant in war and peace we have today. crawford -- the feeling today is that crawford's intent was to create an indian princess and you have this buckskin skirt here. but at the least, that disappears and then you have kind of a greek saying here. and then you have this remarkable headdress, which was supposed to be an equal and eagle feathers, but instead looks like a rooster with a nozzle on it. meigs had been urging thomas crawford costly to go to the vatican library and look up books have pictures of indians because he expected quite rightly that crawford had no idea what indians looks like. anyway, crawford comes back with this. davis absolutely loves that and meigs didn't say anything. the only one who had misgivings was walter.
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but walter, who at that time as the architect and was working for meigs didn't say anything. so this is a statue of there became a statue of freedom and this is a statue we have on the capital today. banks was also note worthy for his engineering innovations. this is a derek said he decided to construct here from fort timbers, making gigantic mass from the floor of the rotunda. get a platform here in the hunt this room here. so the boom would lift pieces of cast iron up and they would be placed, manhandled into place around here and then bolted by the workers.
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no need for scaffolding, which was expensive and dangerous and is it when i you could elevate the platform a little by little set one up in knots. this is similar to anyone who sees skyscrapers today. as far as i know, this is the first time this was tried in the united states. it was a tremendous success. meigs was tremendously proud of it. also figured out photography could be a great help to have. in the 1850s, there were no blueprints per se so that if an architect produced a drawing and you needed a copy of the drawing community of a draftsman be dropped into a tree seen her do a copy of the drawing and hand it to foreman or to the artist in so that he could do the work. meigs immediately saw with new
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photographic techniques that he could make a glass plate negative and reproduce the plans an infinite number of times and handy copy to the people doing the job to anyone at sun for all of them said they would all have an idea of exactly what to do. you can see it here very well, but all of the measurements are delineated here very carefully. this is meant -- these are meant to be used by the people you see in the capital. and if we can go back here, figure out the photography could be very good for public relations. so we start to particular and photographs given to the wife of stephena douglas to send them to former president millard fillmore and to send them along to the museum to the united
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states military academy and pass them along to wherever they might do the most good. he never had any real problems with appropriations. so i've included this picture. this is the new house of representatives, which was occupied in late 1857. at the house of representatives, there were several people who suggested that a company of debates is probably one of the reasons why house members were always at each other's throats and that commenting in the house of representatives had ceased to exist. well, in february of 1858, that particular wish was dashed. this is a copy of frank little slaves illustrated newspaper from february and describes a
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late-night brawl in the house of representatives between proslavery and anti-slavery numbers. so the fighting continued in this physical and apparently had nothing to do with the acoustics. the other thing and the other reason i included this as you can see that the logo on the newspaper is the united states capitol. at this point, things have gotten so bad in the united states, the country was so polarized that the capital had become a rallying point for members of both parties or for all parties and for members of all sections. because it was something that didn't have anything to do is slavery. so was something people could agree on. it was a rallying point at a
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time when pretty much everyone was in despair and nothing was ever going to happen to step back from the brink. you'll notice there is this vague tea obscuring the dome here. there's a reason for this. by the end of 1857 and going into 1858, meigs and walter were barely speaking and winning three. what they didn't speak to one another for two years. meigs said suspected that the incoming -- the incoming buchanan the industry sheehan was trying to throw him out and get him off the project and was being helped in this regard by walter. walter suspect that the meigs was doing everything he could to take credit for walter's accomplishments and design. in fact, those people were right
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and happening exactly as he described. and there was really no stepping back from the rink. the results of this was that from 1857 -- late 1857, pretty much until the beginning of the civil war, very little was done to the dome and set the tone just sort of languished because walter wouldn't give meigs the drawings and without the drawings, meigs couldn't tell the dome. i've included this picture come in the senate shortly after was dedicated in 1859. i include this only to show that looks exactly here at this point it looks exactly the way it does today, even to the carpet. and this is -- i've included
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this picture is per media, his most dazzling. davis and meigs together adopted the decoration style that they describe as the high style. and this is the president room just off the senate chamber and nothing reflects more dazzling techniques in the spirit almost all of -- it looks like this is loaded with relief sculpture and paintings in things like this. it's almost all optical illusion. the tiles are british, still there today and the colors go down. they're not your surface glaze. they go down into the clay themselves. this is one of several rooms -- many rooms in the capital that
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looks like this. and this is the handiwork with the full approval of meigs and davis. during this period, although nothing was going on in the dome, walter was designing a new dome, changing the dome appear from an ellipsoid to a semi circle because crawford's liberty was too tall are much taller than the original liberty, so we needed to lower the dome and make it larger. this is one of walter's truly beautiful ones and one of his iconic drawings in the feature on the architect of the capitol's website. walter also had the idea of putting a concave mural in between the inner and outer
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domes such that sunlight would come through here and be reflected upward by mirrors and eliminate the dome -- the mural from below. then the civil war came. meigs lost the battle with walter in 1859 and buchanan sent him away to the dragged her to in the gulf of mexico off the coast of florida. the meigs came back during the lincoln administration and became quartermaster general of the union army come a job he would hold for 20, 21 years. he built arlington cemetery. he built what is now the building museum in his supply trains supplied grant and on the
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offensive that crashed the confederacy in 1864 and he was meigs' ships waiting for sherman when he marched from atlanta t savanna in late 1864. but at the beginning of the war, there were no of ericsson washington. washington was embraced by two slave states, virginia and maryland. people are terrified the confederacy was going to an aide. it said the first volunteer unit from the union came down to washington and there is no place to put them except the capital. this is the eighth massachusetts, the first unit to take up residence there. and you can see, this is the mass going up into the rotunda and you can see the circular staircase that they saw the link to the platform.
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and so the soldiers were there for about three or four months and created a terrible mess and they were finally thrown out a special session that lincoln called in july of 1861 took place. in 1862, walter became the architect of the capitol again and actually took over the project. in the end of 1863, he installed the statue of freedom on the top of the dome. at the end of 1865, finished the epictetus of washington. two views of it here. walter resigned a couple months into the johnson at illustration from way back to philadelphia with the intention of retiring.
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lost everything in the panic of 1873. worked as an architect and draftsman to his death in the 1880s. meigs as i said became one of the most powerful people in washington during the war was a member of lincoln center circle, builds the arlington cemetery in the building museum and develop a living for davis, his one-time mentor that knew no bounds. as a graduate of the military academy himself, he regarded the greatest sin possible to commit was to betray the oath that she tucked and he never gave davis a graduate of the military academy relief for this and on several occasions wrote in his diary and i think in letters to his father
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that he wished to both men would be hanged. he built arlington cemetery on these grounds in arlington, specifically for that reason. make sure that the first plots were right in mrs. lee's rose garden said that he would very people, including his own son, who died in virginia in 1864 right there beside this leaves back door because he didn't want her ever to think that she could come back. davis says isaiah never return to washington d.c., never saw the completion of this work. he was imprisoned immediately after the war and spent i think a little over a year under suspicion of having orchestrated the assassination of lincoln,
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which had nothing to do with this eventually released on dale and never we imprisoned. at one point his wife wrote a letter to meigs asking if it would be possible to intercede so that you can send letters sent through to her house in jail on hampton roads at that point. meigs but did over and said forget old times sake, he had no time for this. in 1875, the speaker of the house of representatives wrote a letter to meigs saying that he thought that the united states was getting too big again and needed to have more additions put onto the capital. what did someone think? meigs broke back a letter saying the way thomas design phase, it cannot be improved upon. don't touch it. the speaker took days and sent
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it to walter who was in philadelphia. he shortly rode meigs and the two men were reconciliation at the very end of walter's life in a few years before someone died. at the time they decided there was submit a design for standalone library of commerce, which was under consideration at that point. i guess i'll stop there. [applause] yes. [inaudible] >> she left in january of 1861 and it was pretty much written on the wall this lincoln was going to win, and everyone knew
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he was going to win, that states are going to secede. and so, davises role was pretty much etched in stone after that. i believe that -- i can't remember the exact date than mississippi's acetic, but it's something that january heard her january 4th 1861 and then davis got word of it in about january 13th or 14th in the last on january 9th teemed. construction was continuing at that point and construction indeed continued all the way into may of 1861, a month after the war started. and that was an meigs who is back in church about point stopped to with the intention of stopping up for the duration of the war. then walter came in and was two or three contract tours managed
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a very clever bureaucratic move and had congress decontrol of the project away from the war department and put it back in the interior department from assertively been meigs without the job. meigs at that time he is so much to do he didn't care. he was gathering together, helping gather together a million man army and train to feed and clothe and house them at the same time. he didn't really need to worry about the capital. so then, it's just about as we sit here now, 150 years ago that congress took control of the project back in -- back with the interior department and about two weeks later in early april, construction resumed.
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>> but the two year period when walter and meigs were fighting, which davis involved? i was wondering why he wouldn't have enough authority -- >> sure, so i'm sorry, the meigs walter hughes started in late 1857. pearce was gone. buchanan was president. so davis was no longer in control of the project, but he was meigs great friend in congress because he had gone back to the senate and he was again sunder from mississippi. walter of course immediately try to increase seat himself and was quite successful, ingratiating himself at the buchanan had this tradition. so you had a stalemate in which buchanan, who support everywhere in the country was eroding
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except among southern democrats. so he couldn't afford to upset davis and it would really have upset davis defeated fired meigs. on the other hand, his secretary of war in control of the project hated meigs and really wanted walter back in control, but couldn't get rid of meigs because you can and wouldn't do with davis didn't want. and so, you had a stalemate with the result that absolutely are virtually nothing happened for two years. until buchanan left. yes. >> wondering about the correspondence between meigs and crawford. crawford was in italy, so it must've taken a long time for
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them to be communicating back and forth as to what was happening but that statute. >> you raise a really, really interesting point and one that i puzzled over, too. not only do they correspond, they correspond frequently, but they correspond at great lakes. meigs blood to write huge letters to crawford in which he much described everything going on. a really important thing a thing to know about meigs is his handwriting was his bat is anybody's if ever seen. so i can just see crawford getting one of those letters about 14 or 15 chicken scratch pages, sitting down with his wife in every other ex-pat and robe and trying to figure out what this guy is saying. and there's a famous line of sherman and georgia gets a note
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about his train and looks up and says well, this is from general meigs, sola do what he said, but i can't read it. and that's the way applies. so what happened was the communications would go by ship and then they would come back by ship. crawford was able to take photographs, as we saw, of his models and send them back to meigs and then someone would show them to davis and make his judgment and send it back. indeed the whole process of selecting the statute took about a year and a half altogether and with many backing for his -- and in the many back-and-forth letters. all of meigs' letter to crawford are preserved. crawford is doing his best to make happy and if someone really
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likes crawford, so he's telling crawford all about his travels with other american artists, you know, given them all kinds of trouble for having foreigners working on this staff. and he's telling them all this stuff and crawford is sitting in rome, trying to figure out what he is saying. ..
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>> george washington and thomas jefferson hired pierre lamond to lay out a grid of the city. but the addresses they talk about are the same of today because the design is the same.
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basically washington d.c. fills in the blanks of persons. ground was broken early 1790s. congress moved the capital to d.c. in 1800. at that time the senate was built. there was nothing but a big coal where the rotunda would be. the house looked like a big dutch oven and was called the dutch oven. the brick structure that you could just imagine what it was like in july. of their results walkway going from the house to the senate. 1814 the british torched the whole thing. said it was benjamin the
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trove after the war between 12 to rebuild the capital and produced this. by 1825 this was done. shortly after that jackson came been to say thank you very much and good five. nothing happened except piecemeal changes for what we talk about here. thank you very much. [applause] >> host: randall kennedympany af
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you rightabout violence byyo tpeech?ite abou what do you mean?what d >> that look is about the word nigger that hase word gger triggered lots of violence is is a pilot word itself. with blood literally and sometimes figuratively and wanted to show the way in which this word has wrought havoc in american culture. of course that is not all it does. one of the reasons why it was both worthy is because of the complicated word. it has a terrible history, a history of insult, history of terrorism, a history of intimidation, but of course it has been put to other uses, too.
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it's been made in an ironic and a term of endearment so the word nigger as a complicated word and has biomass space, but other aspects as well. ..
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i knew her for a good portion of my life. she used the whole -- a lot of different words. she referred to black people sometimes as colored people. but she also sometimes would use the infamous n-word, and she has been a person who's example and whose wisdom has been with me all my life. >> host: is it illegal to use the n-word? >> guest: generally speaking, no, although -- well, i take that back. if you use the n-word in an employment setting, for instance, if you or somebody supervisor and you refer to your work to a worker as a nigger, where you refer to black people as niggers, you may be in
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violation of the law by creating a hostile workplace and thereby make yourself subject to a liability under state law or new the civil rights law of 1966 -- 1964. so, under certain circumstances, you can do things which would make yourself -- which subjects yourself to legal liability, or another way. if you commit violence and in the indication of a -- the commission of a violent act refer to people using the n-word, you might be subject to hate law legislation, and thereby not only be prosecuted for assault or whatever violent act you have committed, but you might subject yourself to an
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enhanced penalty by running afoul of state hate laws. so, under certain circumstances, yeah, you would be in violation of the law. generally speaking, though, because of the strong shielding power of the first amendment, people, for instance, comedians or writers, can use the n-word and not have to fear the law, though you might have to fear a public opinion which itself can be a very powerful force. >> host: is that the near word versus citing word? >> host: the law of homicide, all sorts of different levels of homicide, and one big divide is between manslaughter and second degree murder.
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so, for manslaughter, the law gives you a little -- if you kill someone, but you can make the argument that you killed somebody in you were in the grip of passion. the classic example of manslaughter, you come home and you find your girlfriend or your wife in the arms of another, and you kill that person. you've committed a violent act, but the law will give you a little bit of a break because you were in the grip of passion, and the law says, we give you something of an excuse. not a full excuse but we recognize that you couldn't control yourself. well, there's some people who have made the argument that they were in the grip of passion because somebody called them the infamous n-word. they strike the person, maybe they kill the person. and the argument becomes, can you or can your lawyer make the arguement to a jury that you were in the grip of passion
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because this person called you this particular word. now, in some jurisdictions, like washington, dc, you cannot even make that argument. washington, dc, the jurisdiction that has the "just words" doctrine, and the law says no matter what the word, no matter what somebody calls you, that's no excuse for using violence. but other jurisdictions say, we'll let you make that argument to a jury. >> host: professor kennedy, you write in the n-word book, there's nothing necessarily wrong with a white person saying the n-word, just as there is nothing necessarily wrong with a black person saying it. what should matter is the context in which the word is spoken. the speaker's aims, effects, alternative, to condemn whites to use the n-word without regard to context is simply to make a fettish of the word.
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>> guest: yes. the best example to illustrate that point is mark mark twain'st novel, huckleberry finn. anythinger appears in that book over 200 times. i think huckleberry finn is a wonderful novel and its impulse is antiracist. antislavery, obviously over the years there have been many people who wanted the book banned or wanted to erase the word. i'm not for that. you have a white author, but he is using the term "nigger" for purposes that are clearly antiracist purposes. there are others. lenny bruce. lenny bruce was a great social sat -- satirist. he had a number of times when he used the word nigger, not to
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insult black people, but to turn the table on people who were antiblack in their feeling and he used the word nigger to laugh at them. using the word nigger as a mirror on race simple in order to combat racism. adore used the word anythinger in some of her short stories. she wasn't using it to be a racist. rather, she was using is as an artist to de-legitimate race simple. that's what i meant. obviously there are black people, too who have used the term nigger in ways that in my view, are completely unobjectionable. dick gregory titled his first
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autobiography, "nigger "an autobiography." and richard pryor with two great albums, "that nigger is crazy" and bicentennial nigger." >> host: when you wrote the book, it was published in 2002. what reaction did you get? >> host: when i do. >> guest: when i wrote the book i got a lot of reaction, some positive and some negative. and continue to get some positive reactions and negative reactions. some people took real offense at the title. if there was one aspect of the book that probably got me the most negative reaction was people who complained about the title, and who thought that i was being sensationalist, i was
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exploiting this term by putting it right there in the title, right there on the cover of a book that would appear in your book stores all across america. and what i said to people was -- and i still say -- and i say this unapologetically -- if you write a book you want people to read your book. there are thousands of books in any book store. there are hundreds of thousands of books in any big library, and you got a lot of competition. the first thing you want to do, if you're an author, is to at least have somebody pick up the book. and so when i was thinking of a title issue thousand what i can title this book that would get somebody to take a peek, read the first paragraph. and i thought, well, nigger. nigger is a strange career of a
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trouble self-word. and i thought that would -- just think hard about words, think hard about examples, get the readers attention. that's what i was trying to do with the title.
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>> afternoon. welcome to the 17th game you'll symposium for good is my pleasure to introduce ralph peters born in
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pennsylvania he graduated from penn state and list and the army 1976 and earned his commission in 1980. colonel peter spent 10 years in germany working military intelligence then he worked in the office of the deputy chief of staff for intelligence. retired from active duty 1998 at the rank of lieutenant colonel. after publishing and early spy novel colonel peters turned his attention to contemporary terrorism the typical hero has knowledge and courage to tackle the problems this most recent
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book "cain at gettysburg" was recently published and is available in the bookstore as well as a writer of fiction curdle peters has established a self has overspent did writer of nonfiction. the best known work is called looking for trouble establishes his reputation as a keen observer of worldly affairs. colonel peters is a well-known essayist with the washington post, "newsweek" post, "newsweek", "the wall street journal" and avoid she is a member of the advisory board. he has written under the name abell jones series of
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novels. his long experience of established him as a leading voice. we will come colonel peter at -- colonel peters. [applause] >> thank you very much. i only have to make one correction i did not graduate from penn state the finely in the army i did get an education. i will talk to you on the subject with the myth of gettysburg. is addressed in the novel "cain at gettysburg" but it is a nonfiction presentation but the book is the background.
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a like to think it is the most accurate over written. but i wanted to capture the field at the time. before launching into the nonfiction history of what has mushroomed up, i would like to speak briefly about historical fiction. i have often heard civil war buffs say i don't read fiction. if not then you miss the world's great literature but the straightforward history are not enemies. they complement each other. well-written history tells us men marching in 88-degree heat and could hear the
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sounds of battle ahead. well researched and written historical fiction tells you what it felt like to marching uniforms with 88-degree heat where the canteen is empty and your barefoot to the careers are writing back and forth and the officers seem confused. you don't know where you are. but suddenly march 4 word and you cannot see the ground is broken suddenly artillery opens up friends fall beside you use so the
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know exactly where you are then use the dark forms what did it feel like? go with historical fiction to capture the feeling. it could go with brave historians to understand what was inside of the men what we could document could is it goes into the souls of the men with the petty jealousy the inspiration inspiration, the impulse. they both have their role and like "cain at gettysburg" it is factually accurate.
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for me this was the ultimate book to write to. cents a 122 rate since childhood i had a clear background plus a lifelong pursuit. it came together for me. but to save all the books i have written this is where the magic happened. sometimes the right teeing god's to send i hope you will read it and if you are short on cash you could get it from the library. one of the many traders i was appalled pundits and
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citizens are country has never been so divided. with the american civil war 624,000 americans died some suggested as well as 750,000 and lot of confederates were not as good at record keeping. when they tried to burn bet tobacco warehouse. we will never know exactly how many but with today's population that is five 4/6 million americans.
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the cataclysm of the catastrophe of that. ladies and gentlemen i humbly submit we were somewhat divided more in the 1860's and today but democracy always has divisions. even under the jacksonian era. after the civil war you have the populist movement william jennings bryan and in the 1920's had polarization with the kkk in the north and in the time on radio between conservatives and outright communist. a survey there was
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polarization of the cold war and during the vietnam era we were more polarized the yen today. fortunately it was only in the civil war and that forced the country that we live today. some because the hearsay or causes with generals trying to defend the reputation the start with relatively recent men at gettysburg really was not a decisive battle.
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himself survived how could that be decisive? sometimes because of what doesn't happen. suppose robert e. the in the army had decisively met at the potomac and within one week these vagabonds would be marching down philadelphia the summer of 1863. this was a crisis of the union. people at the time recognized although they said the south never smiled with those four days the first second and third after
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falls to grant they could only try to believe the union. there was no hope to win the war. for them to maintain the fire of the belly. in the book "cain at gettysburg" i was trying to get back memoirs, letters, eyewitness accounts and great work done by historians he used all of it it helped to have a military background is not written by people with military experience. if it was the corporal in
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peacetime you know, it just is not as easy as on a map. he was there in spades. one that infuriated me the immigrants could not fight. on the first day of gettysburg it is said near disaster. and the failure starts with the corps commander, an abolitionist but not great military commander

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